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14 Simple Things You Can Do To Upgrade Your Office

14 Simple Things You Can Do To Upgrade Your Office

Staying motivated and keeping your productivity high are sometimes difficult, especially if you are sitting at a desk in your home office with no one to breathe down your neck and yell about deadlines. You’ll often find that people who tend to be unmotivated and slack off more don’t have things around their office set up in a way that allows them to stay focused on their work for extended periods of time. Here are some simple things you can do to upgrade your office and create your perfect work environment.

1. Hang your hardware on the wall using hooks

An excellent way of saving some space on your desk and just generally making things more manageable is to get some wall hooks and hang things on them. You can get a number of very cheap metal hooks or plastic attachments that can be used to hold anything from cables and small gadgets to larger office supplies.

2. Add some extra storage space

Another great way of preventing your desk from getting all cluttered up is to simply add some additional storage space. A small drawer with about three compartments is usually more than enough, but you can also make your own shelves. A chest or similar piece of old furniture can also be used to add storage space, but something as simple as boxes, baskets or travel bags can do the trick in a pinch.

3. Elevate your speakers to ear level

Instead of buying new speakers or constantly turning up the volume, you can simply raise your speakers on a platform so they are at ear level. This way you get a much clearer sound without making too much noise.

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4. Add more light

Shed more light

    You will strain your eyes if there isn’t enough light and this can lead to a deterioration of your eyesight over time. Low light conditions can also make you feel drowsy and even slightly depressed. By adding a good lamp you will ensure that there is enough light in your immediate surroundings for you to see clearly. If at all possible you should try and let some natural light into your office by setting up your work desk near a window.

    5. Give it some color

    Bland, boring and grey is not really a design that promotes creativity and productivity. If you want to stay motivated, you need to feel comfortable and relaxed, which can be achieved by adding some bright colors and spicing things up. A fresh coat of paint on the walls, some paintings or prints, colorful office supplies on your desk, a new rug, painting an interesting pattern on your desk and drawer – all these things can help you create a fun work area where you can spend hours at a time without feeling claustrophobic or depressed.

    6. Get a small potted plant

    A nice, green plant will help you upgrade your office in several ways. It provides you with extra oxygen, livens up your interior and keeps you connected to nature so you don’t feel like you are in a prison. You need a plant that doesn’t require a lot of sunlight and is simple to maintain. Some good choices include English Ivy, Philodendrons and Peace Lilies.

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    7. Find a comfortable, ergonomic chair

    Sitting in the right position not only ensures that you stay healthy, but it also enables you to sit in the same position much longer without fidgeting around or taking frequent breaks to stretch your body. A good office chair follows the natural curvature of the spine, provides lumbar support, and is highly adjustable so as to allow you to customize the chair to your size and needs. Make sure your knees and elbows are bent at 90 degree angles, that the armrests provide adequate support for your forearms, and that the chair is comfortable yet stiff enough to keep your body aligned properly.

    8. Improve your desk

    You will need to set up the things on your desk so that they are within reach. Your desk also needs to have enough space to fit everything and some additional storage where you can put away things that you don’t use that often. Generally speaking, you should be able to reach your peripherals – i.e. mouse, printer, speakers – and important tools, like a calculator or notepad and pen, without moving your body. The things that you use less frequently should be placed further away and you should only have to move your chair or get up when you need to access things that are used on rare occasions. An elevated platform for the monitor and a sliding base for the mouse and keyboard are also beneficial.

    9. Put your monitor at eye level

    The reason most people hunch over so much when sitting at the computer (well, apart from the fact that they often have really bad chairs and low desks) is the fact that the monitor is on a lower level. Your monitor should be at eye level so that you can keep your neck and back straight when looking at the screen. If using a laptop, it’s best to get a USB keyboard and raise the laptop. There are plenty of good bases that allow you to do this, but a stack of books will do just fine.

    10. Surround yourself with things that bring you joy

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    Great home office design

      Some two or three hours into your day at the office you will start to feel mental fatigue and decide to take a short break. Just 5–10 minutes can be enough to let your brain relax, but you need to keep your mind off work and focus it on something fun and pleasurable. Pictures of your loved ones, a model ship, your favorite fishing rod, your first guitar, or a small figurine with a lot of emotional value are just some examples of things that can help put your mind at ease.

      11. Always have a few items lying around that can help your body relax

      Your body tends to get tense and uncomfortable from sitting too long. That’s why it’s important to have a few useful items at your side, such as a grip straightener, a resistance band, a foam roller or a head massager. Take a break every so often, do some light exercise to strengthen the tendons and get some blood flowing through the muscles, and then stretch to loosen up your body.

      12. Create a portable stand for your webcam or microphone

      There are plenty of cheap webcams that include a portable stand and you can get small, flexible stands for webcams for a very low price as well. They allow you to position your webcam any way you want, so that you don’t have to hunch over or mess with the lighting to get a good picture.

      13. Organize your cables

      There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of tangled up cables lying on the floor, particularly when you have to unplug something. Organizing cables isn’t that difficult. You’ll need to unplug everything and untangle those messy cables first, then use hooks and different attachments to make sure the cables run straight from the machines to the sockets. Putting a few small stickers with the right labels (e.g. computer, monitor, printer, etc.) on the cables can help you quickly identify which cable goes where.

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      14. Get a whiteboard

      A whiteboard is essential for visualizing your thoughts and putting down those split-second epiphanies before you have a chance to forget them. It also serves as a great reminder – it’s difficult to forget about something when you have a huge list of tasks staring you in the face every time you sit down at your desk. A whiteboard helps you become more organized and you can always draw some random things on it if you start feeling bored.

      In order to do your best you need a workplace that is tidy, decorated to your liking and has a relaxed, yet professional atmosphere. It all comes down to motivation, so make sure you upgrade your office in a way that keeps you feeling happy and motivated.

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on July 16, 2019

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

      Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

      What to have for dinner tonight?

      Which route to take to work?

      How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

      How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

      Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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      No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

      Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

      Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

      Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

      Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

      How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

      Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

      You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

      When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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      1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

      Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

      I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

      2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

      5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

      By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

      For example:

      If the problem is “always late to work”…

      • Why am I late to work?
        I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
      • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
        I feel so tired in the morning.
      • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
        I slept late the night before, that’s why.
      • Why did I sleep late?
        I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
      • Why did I drink coffee?
        Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

      So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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      3. Simplify Things

      As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

      Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

      4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

      Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

      Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

      Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

      5. Think Laterally

      Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

      ‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

      Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

      Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

      6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

      Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

      Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

      The Bottom Line

      There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

      Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

      Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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      So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

      More About Problem Solving

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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